Burger King has warned that 10% of its UK restaurants may be permanently shut following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, putting over 1,000 jobs at risk.
CEO of the fast-food chain, Alasdair Murdoch, said that Government schemes to help the foodservice sector do not do enough to fix the loss of sales suffered during lockdown, and that around 1,600 jobs may be cut as a result.
This comes after the Government announced plans to rescue the hospitality sector from the effects of Covid-19, revealing VAT cuts by up to 15% and meal vouchers as part of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme.
“We don’t want to lose any, we’re trying very hard not to. But one’s got to assume that 5%-10% of the restaurants might not be able to survive.”
Speaking to BBC’s Newscast, Murdoch said: “If you think we operate from almost entirely leasehold businesses, i.e, we rent all of our premises and you have very significant costs associated with that, and for one month, two months, three months, four months, five months you’re taking absolutely no money, it’s very difficult from a cash flow point of view.
“We don’t want to lose any, we’re trying very hard not to. But one’s got to assume that 5%-10% of the restaurants might not be able to survive.
“If we can possibly avoid it we will… It should be our prime responsibility to keep as many people in work as we can. I think we have a responsibility to do that.”
Burger King has reopened about 370 of its 530 restaurants in the UK since they were forced to close as a result of the pandemic.